Story Goal

by Lorna
(Las Vegas)

Question: What if the story goal changes halfway through the book, due to a discovery unbeknownst to the protagonist? Can a story goal change?

Answer: The story goal does not change. It sits outside the linear chronology of the story. But the protagonist/main character can pursue the wrong goal for some or most of the story.

Dramatica explains this in terms of four elements.

Symptom: What appears (to the main character) to be the problem that needs solving.

Response: What the main character does to address the symptom.

Problem: The real problem, which may be discovered or realized later in the story.

Solution: What would actually solve the real problem (which, in the case of a tragedy or tragi-comedy, never appears).

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